Prepare Your Poster Presentation

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Instructions for Making Your Poster

Dimensions of Posters

SURCA posters are hung on display boards and are limited to a maximum size of 4 ft. high by 4 ft. wide. They may be smaller, but cannot be larger than this.

Designing Your Poster

The most common program to use in creating a poster is Microsoft PowerPoint; the use of Adobe products is also common. The first step is to check the size requirements, then create one slide in PowerPoint with those dimensions. There are many resources available to help with designing your poster. We encourage you to check out the following sites for poster tips, and talk to your advisor about poster ideas.

Where to Have Your Poster Printed

You can choose to print your poster wherever you like. There is a cost to print your poster, and your mentor or department may be able to help with that. Public poster-printing services on the WSU Pullman campus might offer discounts. The main one is:

There are also off-campus commercial printers available nearby.

Plan Ahead

Because poster printing can be a time-consuming process, there is typically a significant turnaround (two days, for example) between the time you print your poster and the time you can pick it up. Be sure to plan ahead and check with wherever you are having your poster printed to allow enough time to meet your deadline. For SURCA 2024, Coug Prints recommends having your poster printed no later than Wednesday, March 20 so you can pick it up on Friday, March 22 for the Monday, March 25 showcase. Avoid the last-minute rush and possible rush fees!

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Presenting Your Poster

Schedule and Location of Poster Presentations

As a poster presenter, you will explain your work and answer questions from judges and the public. Some people will generally understand the technical aspects of your work while others might know little about your topic. Two-to-three judges will visit you to evaluate your poster and your presentation; please give them preference over others. Be sure to allow time as you plan your presentation for questions from and interaction with the judges and the public.

SURCA will be in the CUB M.G. Carey Senior Ballroom (2nd floor), with the awards ceremony following in the CUB Auditorium (room 177). Important times for poster presenters include:

  • 12:00-2:00 p.m. Students will hang their posters. (If needed, you can send your poster with another student to hang it for you.)
  • 2:00-2:45 p.m. The room will be open to judges only for a pre-judging session; students presenting posters may not be present.
  • 2:45-3:30 p.m. Formal judging requires that ALL student presenters must be available to answer questions by judges.
  • 3:30-4:45 p.m. Others will be admitted to the room, including other students, faculty, staff, and the community. Presenters should give judges preference when they come to your display.
  • 5:00-5:45 p.m. The SURCA Awards Ceremony will take place in CUB Auditorium.
  • 5:45 p.m. Students should pick up their posters following awards ceremony.

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Preparing for Your SURCA Presentation

A large part of the competition is based on your interaction with the judges, who may be WSU faculty, post-docs, and/or members of the external community (e.g. alumni, business professionals, emeriti faculty, and so on). To prepare for your presentation:

  • Review the judging rubric that will be used to evaluate all presentations.
  • Prepare multiple presentations suitable for a wide variety of audiences, such as experts in your field, faculty, students who are and aren’t in your discipline, and the public. You should also prepare a short summary presentation, and be prepared to expand it.
  • Practice your poster presentation and timing by yourself, with your mentor, and with other students who are within as well as outside of your discipline or your project’s category.
  • Arrive in time to be familiar with the location of your poster.

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Award Ceremony

Starting at 5:00 p.m. in the CUB Auditorium, awards will be given to top SURCA presenters. Mentors of award winners will also be recognized at the award ceremony. Following the ceremony, plan to return to your poster to remove  and keep it.

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